Posted on: 05 Jun 2020
Though they’ve been wearing their iconic masks for over 20 years now, questions seemingly still arise even to this day about the possibility of Slipknot ever performing without them. But artistic mastermind Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan has shut down that idea immediately, explaining that the band would feel “cheapened” if they went without them.
Speaking on The Fred Minnick Show, the percussionist admits that, “There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that every member wishes we didn’t have to wear that stuff” – but, having come up with the idea of the masks in the first place, it’s something they will continue to stick with. “For all I know, maybe some of the guys think it’s the worst thing ever,” Clown says. “They went with it because of our love for each other and our dream and our brand, but secretly, some people could be just, like, ‘I can’t believe I signed up my whole life for this,’ whereas I’m only doing it with that. So I never forced it on anyone. It seems like it’s what we wanted to do. And it’s helped, and it really is who we are.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Are you gonna take off the mask?’” he added. “And I say, ‘Why do I need to do that?’ You’re only asking me because of behaviour. You’re only doing that because you have a hypothesis of all the other artists, some way or not, but I’m not a part of that test, that field research. I’m the Clown in a band called Slipknot. We are not your kind. We are not like you. We’re not part of your hypothesis.
Clown also added that this imagery is “pure religion”, and not something that “laziness or stress or just the will to not wanna put it on anymore” will mean that Slipknot ever go unmasked.
“I signed the deal we did in the beginning, and there’s just never been any of anything else,” he revealed. “I really couldn’t fathom us any other way. I would feel cheapened; I would feel betrayed. I think that’s the difference: it’s the self-worth in the dream, in the art that you create. Ours is very, very, very precise, and we do not deter away from staying the course.”
A couple of years back, Kerrang! asked Corey Taylor about his favourite ’Knot mask to wear – but the frontman joked that, “They were all fucking horrible.”
Corey explained: “The hardest was my original with the dreads. Anything that’s full-headed – there’s just no getting out of it. At least when you’ve got some kind of a half-mask with buckles, you don’t feel like you’re singing in a portaloo. But when it’s closed, you just put this big rubber hood on and there’s just no getting out of it.
“So that one and the Iowa one, because they were basically variations of the same thing,” he continued. “Those were the worst. The Iowa one was foam rubber. The ones from the first album were thin but then we got a little money and we were like, ‘Wow, let’s make some cool shit for the Iowa run!’ They used foam rubber, which was basically just like giant sponges.
“You could tell where we were at in the show by how big my head was getting and how heavy this thing was…”